Cassava: 10 Health Benefits, Nutritional Info & Recipes (2024)

Cassava is a tubercle that is rich in fiber and can help to manage sugar and cholesterol levels in the blood. It can therefore prevent diseases like diabetes, heart attack and stroke, as well as improve intestinal flow.

Cassava contains resistant starch,a type of carbohydrate that is not digested and acts similar to fiber in the body). It can therefore feed the beneficial bacteria in the gut and improve digestion. It can also be ingestedto prevent conditions like constipation, gastritis or intestinal cancer.

Cassava is usually sold at grocery stores and can be boiled or bakedto accompany eggs, meat and salads or used as a base for soups. It can also be used in purees, cakesbread, or tapioca, sagu and tapioca crepes.

Cassava: 10 Health Benefits, Nutritional Info & Recipes (1)

Health benefits of Cassava

The main health benefits of cassava are:

1. Preventing cardiovascular diseases

Cassava contains great amounts of fiber, which are compounds that help to reduce the absorption of fat. It helps to reduce LDL cholesterol in the blood, which can prevent diseases like heart attack, atherosclerosis and stroke.

In addition, cassava also contains potassium and magnesium, minerals that help to eliminate excess sodium in the urine and promote blood vessel relaxation. This can help to prevent high blood pressure.

2. Improving energy and mood

Because it is high in carbohydrates, cassava can help to improve energy and mood and keep these levels high during the day. That means this tubercle can be a great dietary addition for people who exercise frequently or work in high-activity jobs, like construction workers, mail delivery, farmers and garbage collectors.

3. Helping to manage diabetes

Cassava can help to manage diabetes, as it contains fiber and resistant starch. These help to reduce the speed of sugar absorption into the blood, which can promote more balanced levels of glucose.

4. Promoting skin, nail and hair health

Cassaba is a source of vitamin C, which is a nutrient that helps to boost collagen production and absorption. This can help to improve skin and hair elasticity, as well as strengthen the nails.

5. Improving digestion

Cassava contains great amounts of resistant starch, which can balance intestinal flora, improve digestion and prevent the development of digestive conditions, like gastritis and ulcers.

6. Strengthening the immune system

Because it contains vitamin A, vitamin C and carotenoids (which are components with potent antioxidant action), cassava can help to strengthen immune system cells against infection. This can help to prevent the development of allergies, colds and the flu.

7. Aiding weight loss

Cassava has high amounts of resistant starch and fibers, which are nutrients that reduce digestion time. Therefore, cassava can help to keep you full and reduce appetite throughout the day, leading to weight loss.

8. Preventing some types of cancer

Because it is high in vitamin C, flavonoids, carotenoids and vitamin C (which are components with antioxidant action), cassaba can help to combat excess free radicals and strengthen the immune system. This can help to prevent some types of cancer, like intestinal, stomach and breast cancers.

9. Improving mood

The resistant starch present in cassava can promote balanced levels good intestinal bacteria in the gut, which promotes the production of serotonin. This neurotransmitter is responsible for mood regulation and overall wellbeing.

10. Preventing constipation

The pectin and beta-glucan fibers present in cassava can help to hydrate the stool and assist with easier bowel movements.

Cassava also contains resistant starch, which is a type of carbohydrate that serves to feed the good bacteria in the gut. Therefore, it can help to maintain optimal levels of good bacteria in the gut and prevent constipation.

Can cassava cause weight gain?

Cassava contains a great amount of carbohydrates and calories, and can lead to weight gain if eaten in excess.

However, because of its high fiber content, cassava can keep you full and reduce hunger throughout the day. Therefore, if eaten in moderation, it can actually be incorporated into a weight loss diet.

Nutritional information

The following table contains nutritional information for 100 g of cassava, which is equivalent to 3 tablespoons of boiled cassava:

Components

100g (3 tablespoons) of boiled cassava

Energy

125 calories

Protein

0.6 g

Carbohydrates

30.1 g

Fat

0.3 g

Fiber

1.9 g

VitaminC

18.2 mg

VitaminA

13 mcg

Carotenoids

13 mcg

Folic acid

24 mcg

Calcium

19 mg

Potassium

100 mg

Magnesium

27 mg

Phosphorus

22 mg

To obtain all the benefits cassava has to offer, it is important to incorporate into a healthy, balanced diet and to exercise regularly.

How to eat Cassava

Cassava can be boiled and used as a side for other meals, like eggs, meat and salads. It can be eaten at breakfast, snack, lunch or dinner, and used in recipes for cakes, purees, soups, or broths, It can also be sliced and baked to make chips.

It is important to highlight that cassava should not be eaten in its raw form because it contains hydrogen cyanide. This compound can be toxic and cause symptoms like nausea, vomiting, seizures, shortness of breath, and,in serious cases, death.

Healthy recipes

Cassava: 10 Health Benefits, Nutritional Info & Recipes (2)

Cassava can be used in healthy recipes, like soup, chips, cakes or purees.

1. Cassava cake

Ingredients:

  • 500 g of cassava
  • 3 eggs
  • ¾ cups of brown sugar or 3 tablespoons of sweetener
  • 1 cup of milk (cow or plant-based)
  • 100 g of freshly grated coconut, or dehydrated, unsweetened coconut
  • 1 teaspoon of butter (to grease the pan)

How to prepare:

Preheat the oven to 350 ºF (or180 ºC). Grease a loaf pan with butter and set side. Thoroughly wash, peel and chop the cassava into small pieces. Then place the cassava, eggs, sugar (or sweetener) and milk in a blender and mix until you reach a hom*ogenous batter.

Transfer the batter into a bowl and add the grated coconut, being sure to stir by hand. Then pour the batter into the greased pan and bake for 40 minutes, until golden. Wait for it to cool before serving.

2. Cassava flour with chicken

Ingredients:

  • 500g of cassva
  • 2 medium onions
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 cups of pulled chicken (cooked)
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley
  • Salt and pepper

How to prepare:

Wash, peel and chop the cassava into cubes. Chop the onion and garlic in small cubes and set aside. Place the cassava in a pot and cover with water. Cook on medium heat until soft. Wait for the cassava to cool and carefully mix it in a blender. Add the water from the pot into the blender a bit at a time, until a thick broth develops.

In another pot, add the olive oil, onionand garlic and stir fry for 5 minutes. Then add the stir fry to the mandioca cream, as well as salt, pepper, parsley and pulled chicken. Stir with a woodenspoon. To dilute the broth, you can add more water. Wait for it to cool and serve.

3. Cassava chips

Ingredients:

  • 500 g of cassava
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How to prepare:

Preheat the oven to 390 º (or200 ºC). Wash, peel and chop the cassava into thin slices. Season with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Grease a pan with more olive oil. Spread the cassava over the pan and bake in the oven for 15 minutes (or until they become golden). Flip the cassava with tongs and bake the other side for another 14 minutes, until they become golden and crispy.

Cassava: 10 Health Benefits, Nutritional Info & Recipes (2024)

FAQs

What are the top 10 health benefits of cassava? ›

The main health benefits of cassava are:
  1. Preventing cardiovascular diseases. ...
  2. Improving energy and mood. ...
  3. Helping to manage diabetes. ...
  4. Promoting skin, nail and hair health. ...
  5. Improving digestion. ...
  6. Strengthening the immune system. ...
  7. Aiding weight loss. ...
  8. Preventing some types of cancer.
Aug 31, 2023

What does cassava do to your body? ›

Cassava is a good source of resistant starch, which supports gut health and blood sugar management. It also contains vitamin C, a key micronutrient that can enhance immune function and collagen production.

Is it safe to eat cassava everyday? ›

Cassava is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when eaten regularly as a food in large amounts. Children who eat large amounts of cassava may have a higher chance of developing certain paralysis conditions. Allergies to latex: Cassava might cause an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to latex.

Can I eat cassava with high blood pressure? ›

Cassava is loaded with dietary fiber. Consuming this fiber is linked to a number of health benefits, including lower blood pressure, reduced cholesterol levels, better control over your blood sugar levels and a lower risk of obesity.

Which is healthier, potato or cassava? ›

However edible varieties of cassava and potatoes grown for consumption are low on toxicity. Cassava is more healthier if you can eat the green leaves which are edible after blanching/boiling and straining and contain useful amounts of amino acids/proteins.

Is cassava good for belly fat? ›

Cassava has a high water content, rich in fiber and resistant starch, so eating cassava in moderate amounts will not get fat, even help you feel full for a long time, reduce appetite, support weight loss very well.

What does cassava do to the brain? ›

Various animal studies on neurotoxicity due to cassava reported decreases in motor coordination and neurotransmitter changes, particularly dopaminergic changes in the brain (Mathangi et al., 1999; Mathangi and Namasivayam, 2000) .

Why does cassava make you sleepy? ›

Starch foods such as cassava, (rice, macaroni, and posho) are known to enhance the transfer of sleep-inducing chemicals in the brain. However, they are not advised for night meals because even though they induce sleep, they can make you toss and turn due to their bulky nature.

What is the side effect of eating too much cassava? ›

It contains cyanide which may lead to acute toxicity or chronically may be an aetiological factor in tropical nutritional amblyopia, tropical neuropathy, endemic goitre, cretinism and tropical diabetes. It may also have carcinogenic potential.

What country eats the most cassava? ›

- Nigeria and Thailand are top countries for cassava consumption. - Nigeria is the largest cassava producer globally. - Cassava is a staple food in Africa, Latin America, and Asia.

How to get rid of cyanide in cassava? ›

Drying is the most ubiquitous processing operation in many tropical countries. Sun drying eliminates more cyanide than oven drying because of the prolonged contact time between linamarase and the glucosides in sun drying. Soaking followed by boiling is better than soaking or boiling alone in removing cyanide.

Is cassava safe for kidneys? ›

Yes, cassava is good for the kidney as it repairs kidney damage and failure. In addition, clinical analysis shows that consuming cassava brings down kidney-harming creatinine levels. However, it may not be an ideal diet option for renal dysfunction since cassava raises urea content.

Can diabetics eat cassava? ›

One such disease is diabetes. For a long time now, cassava flour is believed to be good for diabetics. However, this is a misconception. According to a 2006 study, conducted by Akadiri Yessoufou and team, it was discovered that long-term consumption of cassava flour aggravated diabetes in rats.

Is cassava an anti inflammatory? ›

The results of the review indicate that cassava has diverse pharmacological activities, including anti-bacterial, anti-cancer, anti-diabetic, anti-diarrheal, anti-inflammatory, hypocholesterolemic effects, and wound healing properties.

Which country has the best cassava? ›

Cassava (Manihot esculenta) production is vital to the economy of Nigeria as the country is the world's largest producer of the commodity. The crop is produced in 24 of the country's 36 states.

Does boiling cassava remove cyanide? ›

During the various stages of gari manufacture, 80 to 95% cyanide loss occurs. The best processing method for the use of cassava leaves as human food is pounding the leaves and cooking the mash in water. Fermentation, boiling, and ensiling are efficient techniques for removing cyanide from cassava peels.

Is cassava good for the liver? ›

Cassava supplies a healthy amount of magnesium. An investigative study shows that consuming higher magnesium levels reduces the chances of developing liver cancer. In addition, magnesium intake may prevent steatosis and steatohepatitis progression. These two conditions are progenitors for liver cancer.

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